City employees who could be involved in Operation Desert Storm have a good reason to salute their community.
The City Council recently approved a salary compensation package, including continued dental coverage and aid in mortgage and loan repayments, for city workers who may be called to active military duty.Peggy D'Avignon, head of the city's Personnel Department, said the feedback to the compensation has been positive.
Even though only seven employees could be affected, "they are very pleased," D'Avignon said.
She said one of the employees already has been called.
"He was delighted that his family would be taken care of while he was gone," she said. "He also said he felt the City Council supports him and what he is doing."
After discussing the issue for a couple of weeks, the council decided that some compensation is necessary, but it didn't need to approve too much to show its support.
D'Avignon showed the council members different combinations of compensation packages that include receiving the difference in salary, payment for health and dental coverage, help in mortgage and loan payment, and payment to a state retirement fund, to which, according to state law, the city must contribute.
The original proposal included all health insurance coverage, but because servicemen have health coverage through the military, the council decided not to give the employees double coverage.
"We ought to find the cheapest way to give the best coverage," Mayor S. Blaine Willes said.
The thrust of the package is to help employees meet needs that they are unable to meet because of their military service.
City Manager Daryl Berlin said the city really wants to assure itself that families of employees would be taken care of in the event one source of income is removed.